Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Penn State

IUSMSith0003The Hoosiers completed a regular season sweep of Penn State with a 72-49 win on Wednesday night in Assembly Hall. Indiana has now won five straight over the Nittany Lions. The win moved Indiana, now 5-1 in the conference, to just a half game back of Michigan State, which visits Bloomington on Sunday.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s comfortable win:

· Yogi Ferrell built confidence early and sustained it all evening: Tasked with running the nation’s No. 1 team to begin the season, it hasn’t always been easy this season offensively for Ferrell, a McDonald’s All-American. But the freshman point guard continues to improve as the conference slate rolls along and Wednesday night was perhaps the most assertive we’ve seen him in terms of looking to score the ball. “I was just taking what the defense was really giving me,” Ferrell said afterward. “Victor found me and Christian [Watford] in the second half a lot and I was open so I was going to shoot the ball.” He finished with a career-high 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point arc.

· Will Sheehey’s defense helps resurrect his offense: After totaling just six points over IU’s last three games, Indiana’s junior spark plug scored 12 points in 24 minutes. His impact on both ends of the floor was felt by his teammates. “It’s big for our team,” Victor Oladipo said. “Ever since he came in here with me you know it’s been big that we impact winning and him coming off the bench and having games like that and impacting them on both sides of the floor is big for us going along and hopefully he just continues to keep doing that.” As Indiana enters a brutal stretch of three games in seven days (Michigan State, at Purdue and back home vs. Michigan), it was perfect timing for Sheehey to find his footing as a scorer off the bench.

· Cody Zeller doesn’t score a field goal, Indiana doesn’t miss a beat: If you needed any further proof that Indiana’s offense is one of the nation’s best, you got it Wednesday night when the Hoosiers didn’t get a field goal from Zeller and still won by 23. With the perimeter game operating at near peak efficiency, including eight straight 3-pointers at one point, IU’s star sophomore didn’t get many field goal attempts, but still impacted the game with eight rebounds. Penn State coach Pat Chambers said that the Nittany Lions playing zone may have limited Zeller, but it also opened up the perimeter. “I don’t think Zeller played a ton of minutes; usually he gets in a lot more than he did tonight,” Chambers said. “I saw him tweak his leg and I asked him if he was OK. He told me that he was. But the big thing was that we played zone. Sometimes that means giving up certain things, and they found our weaknesses by making the extra pass.”

· IU contains D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall: Although 30 of Penn State’s 49 points came from their starting backcourt, Indiana played well defensively on both guys, particularly Newbill. The sophomore transfer from Southern Miss finished with 18 points, but needed 17 shots to get there and also had eight turnovers. Marshall, who had 47 points in his previous two games, finished with just 12 points. “Right now, the biggest thing we can work on is making sure that we are getting better as individual defenders, collective defenders, that our rebounding continues to improve, and that we keep turning defense into offense,” Tom Crean said. “Sometimes you can do that in this league, and sometimes you can’t.” On Wednesday night, Indiana did it.

· Remy Abell’s struggles continue: Indiana’s bench got a boost with Sheehey’s improved play, but Abell, one of the key substitutes for the Hoosiers, once again had a tough night. In six Big Ten games, Abell is averaging just 2.1 points and is 3-of-14 from the field. He hasn’t made a field goal since the Penn State game on Jan. 7. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly why Abell has struggled since the onset of conference play, but he played some of his best basketball last season later in the season and Indiana has to hope that’s the case once again.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I think Izzo uses a matchup zone defense, but I’m not sure how much.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I think Izzo uses a matchup zone defense, but I’m not sure how much.

  • HoosierPat

    No one is worth comparing to Tijan. Tijan Forever.

  • marcusgresham

    You know that zone you guys all hate? I’d expect to see a bit of it Sunday.

  • marcusgresham

    Remy’s the backup at the 1, though, so he still needs to see the floor when Hulls and Yogi are out. I know people are calling for one or the other, but they’re going to continue to play together so Remy has to be ready too.

  • marcusgresham

    They should erect a 30 foot statue of Tijan’s elbow.

  • marcusgresham

    Cursed? The ghost of Jay Edwards, perhaps?

  • marcusgresham

    Cursed? The ghost of Jay Edwards, perhaps?

  • CreamandCrimson

    Tom Izzo started the season with Nix and Payne playing at the same time and Dawson playing the 3. However, they were too slow defensively and too clogged offensively and they rarely play together now. Nix averages 26 mpg and Payne averages 21 mpg. Their fifth man is usually going to be either Denzel Valentine or Travis Trice (both at around 20/21 mpg). Valentine is bigger than Hulls but he isn’t much of an offensive threat (5.2) while Trice is similar in size to Hulls but probably quicker. Again though, Trice isn’t a huge offensive threat.

    I’d say for most of the game, Hulls will be guarding either Trice or Valentine.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    I do not think he should play more than 20 minutes or so any game. Have you heard of opportunity/cost? Any more minutes and diminishing returns present themselves.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    I do not think he should play more than 20 minutes or so any game. Have you heard of opportunity/cost? Any more minutes and diminishing returns present themselves.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    thanks for that…. Mo was moving better than I had expected. He has class and experience and could be a factor off the bench if his stroke returns…..now what do I do with my #3 jersey?

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    my five positives – Yogi, yogi, yogi, yogi, and yogi….with yogi playing like an upperclassman our chances improve significantly

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    my five positives – Yogi, yogi, yogi, yogi, and yogi….with yogi playing like an upperclassman our chances improve significantly

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    We need Remy. He plays good D and when his stroke returns it gives us a more athletic option off the bench. Interesting that CTC used Vic at the point for a short time.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    If Hulls is playing great he stretches the floor….if he misses then with Will in for Hulls that solves the mismatches. Advantage IU. Will be a great and hard fought game.

  • SCHoosier

    Hear ya. VB….but one good night of shooting (Yogi) does not a season make. The Jordy thing is tough..cause u do need his scoring. Actually this is not a great 3 pt shooting team at MSU this year..so Marcus’ comments about using a zone could be effective..IF the Hoosiers have learned to play it. Sparts don’t have a good bench..so getting them to foul is key..and that means pounding the ball into Cody..IMO.

  • SCHoosier

    Hear ya. VB….but one good night of shooting (Yogi) does not a season make. The Jordy thing is tough..cause u do need his scoring. Actually this is not a great 3 pt shooting team at MSU this year..so Marcus’ comments about using a zone could be effective..IF the Hoosiers have learned to play it. Sparts don’t have a good bench..so getting them to foul is key..and that means pounding the ball into Cody..IMO.

  • SCHoosier

    There is already one erected outside the IU medical center.

  • SCHoosier

    Might be wrong but I thought Payne and Nix hav e started together for the last couple of weeks. Maybe it has to do with match-ups…but it seems to me that they have to take Zeller and Wat

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Well, we will probably see about that. I’d say we will certainly see about that, but there is the off chance they don’t both start- probably a pretty slim chance though. So do me a favor, come back to me after the game and update us all on how they actually fair, in the first six minutes and the game as a whole. I’ll tell you how they did on the scoreboard, which measures both offense and defense. Because while I don’t coach, I am pretty good at watching basketball.

    Georgetown didn’t really exploit this to any success though, Hulls and Yogi were +22 together, while our other lineups were -12. So the short lineup actually carried us in that game. They did trail by one point when the first one of them was taken out in the first half and they were -3 in the first stint of the second half, but they had three different stretches where we were a 7 point advantage with them in, once in the first half, once in the second half, and again to close the game out in overtime. Georgetown after seeing us play for an entire game had no answer for a Hulls and Yogi lineup in overtime- couldn’t figure any way to exploit that matchup and we won the game. I’m not buying your revisionist history there.

    Butler, you have a stronger argument. Yogi and Hulls were -3, while other lineups were +1. If anyone has exploited this lineup, it was them. From 9:00 to 4:48 left in the second half, they were -11 together which erased our lead in the game. We went to a different lineup then that was -3 and extended their lead further. Crean then put them back on the floor together for the final 2 minutes and 10 seconds and were +7 together to force overtime, entering at down 71-64 and ending tied at 76. They played together the entire overtime and were -2 together.

    I get your point of view. But I also like to check myself and others on our predictions. Let’s just see how the game goes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daren-Patrick-Collentine/1498325427 Daren Patrick Collentine

    I agree. His defense has always been there. Once his offense clicks he will be a big contributor.

  • CreamandCrimson

    You are not wrong. They have been starting together. They just don’t play at the same time for long stretches. If they are in there together, the lineup would probably be something like this:
    -Nix vs. Zeller
    -Payne vs. Watford
    -Dawson vs. Oladipo
    -Harris vs. Hulls
    -Appling vs. Yogi

    Obviously, you don’t like Hulls on Harris and we would probably see more of Sheehey. I would like to see Hulls on the floor whenever MSU goes with only one of their bigs (then Dawson slides to the 4) and brings in Trice or Valentine. The only thing we know for sure is that IU is going to have be really tough on the glass and we are going to need to disrupt Appling and keep him from setting up their offense and penetrating our defense consistently.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    And get a Discuss profile so that I at least get an email when you respond to all of my comments! I like to know when I’m under attack.

  • calbert40

    There you go with facts again, Yogi. :)

    I think some forget that they are also worrying about their mismatches as well. We aren’t the only team that has to guard 5 guys Sunday. I guarantee you that Izzo, when he goes over the scouting report, is reminding the perimeter players that they MUST extend the D on Hulls…maybe even out to 28 feet. He is in range there.

    Do they double Cody? Do they put Dawson or Harris on Victor? If they put Dawson on Victor, does Victor play the whole game on the perimeter and take Dawson away from the glass? Can Appling hang off Yogi, or will Yogi shoot like he did against PSU? Can Nix or Payne guard CWat on the perimeter all game long…what about Will when he come in? One of those guys has to guard him probably too.

    The point is that I’m certain Izzo has had some sleepless nights thinking about what to do against us defensively as well.

  • calbert40

    I agree, Cream. I don’t think that Nix and Payne will play together all that much, because they won’t be able to guard us. I think Trice and Valentine get quite a few minutes.

    While Harris v Hulls is an advantage for them, I think that starting 5 favors us significantly with Zeller, CWat and Victor. Payne can’t guard CWat on the perimeter, and if he tries, fantastic! Zeller one on one vs Nix is our advantage too. Victor can take Dawson away from the glass, which takes away their best rebounder (maybe best in the B1G). And if Yogi can disrupt Appling, we win that matchup too, because they need Appling to score to win. We don’t need points from Yogi to win.

    I don’t think it is going to be an easy game by any stretch, but I firmly believe that Izzo has more to worry about with matchups than CTC does. Can’t wait for tipoff!

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Gets a little lost in the shuffle for some it seems, that there are two sides to this game. We certainly don’t put Yogi and Hulls out there together because we love the defensive possibilities. The criticism now seems to be that Hulls isn’t very good at anything, easily shut down on one end and a complete liability on the other. I kind of like his shooting ability, but what do I know?

    I’d use Dawson on VO, because I think he can take away the drive. I don’t think Harris has the athleticism to stop VO getting to the basket. But you’re right, VO can knock down the three and get him out of the lane. I think all coaches that play us have some restless nights thinking about Oladipo. He always brings it in the big games.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Gets a little lost in the shuffle for some it seems, that there are two sides to this game. We certainly don’t put Yogi and Hulls out there together because we love the defensive possibilities. The criticism now seems to be that Hulls isn’t very good at anything, easily shut down on one end and a complete liability on the other. I kind of like his shooting ability, but what do I know?

    I’d use Dawson on VO, because I think he can take away the drive. I don’t think Harris has the athleticism to stop VO getting to the basket. But you’re right, VO can knock down the three and get him out of the lane. I think all coaches that play us have some restless nights thinking about Oladipo. He always brings it in the big games.

  • twarrior87

    one game? rewatch one game? Why don’t you rewatch the last 3 seasons of games vs Penn St and get back to me.

  • twarrior87

    one game? rewatch one game? Why don’t you rewatch the last 3 seasons of games vs Penn St and get back to me.

  • twarrior87

    Please elaborate further… taking a kid out who has the ability to rain 3pt shots all day and absolutely makes the opposing team devote a defender to him at all times, is a senior leader… where is the diminishing return? you keep saying it, but you’re not providing any information to support your claim.

  • Tom S

    I think we’ve all heard of opportunity cost. I have no idea what “opportunity/cost” is.
    If you’re talking about opportunity cost, what is the overall negative impact on the team’s ability to win games by playing Hulls “more than 20 minutes or so” instead of giving those additional minutes to … who?
    And diminishing returns is an entirely different thing…

  • Tom S

    I think we’ve all heard of opportunity cost. I have no idea what “opportunity/cost” is.
    If you’re talking about opportunity cost, what is the overall negative impact on the team’s ability to win games by playing Hulls “more than 20 minutes or so” instead of giving those additional minutes to … who?
    And diminishing returns is an entirely different thing…

  • WhatsUpKnight

    nah, i think all the hazing will stay around the lower realm of good taste. haha

    i don’t know about everyone else, but i was at hoosier hysteria last season, and i remember all the ‘ga-ry har-ris!’ chanting going on. for that, i think he deserves a little extra ‘attention’ from hoosier nation this sunday!

  • InTheMtns

    Ah, Jay Edwards – Mr “Silk.” Indiana Mr. Basketball, McDonald’s All-American, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, holds the NCAA freshman single-season record for three-point field goal shooting percentage, averaged 20 points a game his sophomore year, Consensus NCAA All-American in 1989, John Wooden Award finalist, 2nd round draft pick after sophomore year. All that, plus being suspended after freshman year for drugs, arrested for misdemeanor battery, and suspended and released from LA Clippers for drugs. I’m not sure what he’s doing these days but maybe you’re right about his ghost haunting the #3 jersey.

  • InTheMtns

    I thought Mo was moving pretty good, too. Little hitch to his gait with lateral movements but he stayed in front to his man pretty well. I think his stroke will come back and he’ll drill some 3′s for us. I agree with you that his experience (and leadership) off the bench could be important for us. As for that #3 jersey, I dunno. Marcus maybe onto something with the Jay Edwards thing. I’d hang on to it, though; Tommy Coverdale did pretty well in it!

  • Kevin Tolliver

    I agree we need him, but just saying a little less PT might be a good thing. I think IU is still subbing too much at times.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    PSU is winless in Big Ten and this was a home game. I didn’t think this game was to impressive at all, and if it were not for the 3 pointers (11 of them) this game would have been a lot closer. IU had 18 turnovers… maybe if a vast majority of the TO’s hadn’t have happened maybe we could have delivered that “knockout punch”. I just think the preseason #1 team could have done a little better.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    PSU is winless in Big Ten and this was a home game. I didn’t think this game was to impressive at all, and if it were not for the 3 pointers (11 of them) this game would have been a lot closer. IU had 18 turnovers… maybe if a vast majority of the TO’s hadn’t have happened maybe we could have delivered that “knockout punch”. I just think the preseason #1 team could have done a little better.

  • mike

    Stats are one thing, but seeing is another. I recall very distinctly Gtown’s guards — all of whom were over 6’4″ — scoring 3s over Jordy and Yogi, particularly int he 1st half. Sure, maybe we scored at the other end, too, but remember, Gtown was not ranked then and is not now; in other words, they were no MSU, Michigan, or Ohio State. Those last three teams will be far better defensively, while still being able to score over at least one of the small guards pretty handily.
    Right now, I see IU MAYBE making the sweet 16. I certainly do not see a Big 10 or national champion, unless all the tourney games are played at Assembly Hall. I mean, come on, they cannot beat Butler on a neutral court, they cannot beat Wisconsin at home, they really should have been beaten by Gtown in regulation, and every other game they’ve played, except for Minnesota at home, has been a cupcake. Four or IU’s “6 starters” are quite inconsistent, and Crean has been roundly outcoached in the losses. All that might sound overly negative, but it is actually simply objective. IU has underachieved thus far, and if they don’t elevate their play, they will not get too far.

  • IUMIKE1

    With no inscription under it at all, cause as usual Tijan’s elbow would speak for itself.

  • IUMIKE1

    With no inscription under it at all, cause as usual Tijan’s elbow would speak for itself.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Okay, mike. I have no real problem with you being “negative,” if you really think that’s where the team is, especially if you turn out to be right. And I’m not saying that you’re being overly “subjective,” rather than being “simply objective”. However, I do think you are wrong about what the team is going to accomplish. Don’t confuse objectivity with truth. Or confidence with either. I happen to think we are in pretty good shape. I try to stay objective in my arguments, by using as many facts as possible. But when you make a prediction, it’s nearly impossible to be completely objective. Those that attempt objective predictions, like Vegas, Pomeroy, and Sagarin, all have IU right there with the best of the Big Ten. I, myself, subjectively believe that we will win the Big Ten regular season (at least a share), even with some of the best conference competition in all of basketball, in Michigan and Michigan State. You “certainly do not see a Big 10 or national championship.” I don’t know if you mean the Big Ten regular season (outright or not) or the tournament? But I’m pretty confident that Crean isn’t going to suddenly decide that Hulls needs to be glued to the bench. We either succeed or fail with him. So, I guess we will see. Sunday is as close to a must win as you can get if I am going to turn out being right about us winning a Big Ten championship.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Okay, mike. I have no real problem with you being “negative,” if you really think that’s where the team is, especially if you turn out to be right. And I’m not saying that you’re being overly “subjective,” rather than being “simply objective”. However, I do think you are wrong about what the team is going to accomplish. Don’t confuse objectivity with truth. Or confidence with either. I happen to think we are in pretty good shape. I try to stay objective in my arguments, by using as many facts as possible. But when you make a prediction, it’s nearly impossible to be completely objective. Those that attempt objective predictions, like Vegas, Pomeroy, and Sagarin, all have IU right there with the best of the Big Ten. I, myself, subjectively believe that we will win the Big Ten regular season (at least a share), even with some of the best conference competition in all of basketball, in Michigan and Michigan State. You “certainly do not see a Big 10 or national championship.” I don’t know if you mean the Big Ten regular season (outright or not) or the tournament? But I’m pretty confident that Crean isn’t going to suddenly decide that Hulls needs to be glued to the bench. We either succeed or fail with him. So, I guess we will see. Sunday is as close to a must win as you can get if I am going to turn out being right about us winning a Big Ten championship.

  • IHATEUK

    yes, thank you.

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